tv Discussion on the Premiership of Margaret Thatcher CSPAN October 18, 2015 4:45pm-5:58pm EDT
is there any work done, is there analysis being done, is that even touchable? -- >> i thinkhat that work will be done, not a lot of waivers are requested, that will drive a much more rigorous approach to say do we really have the standards right because the truth is the standards for a marine corps platoon will be different than a standard for the ranger battalion. most men wash out of ranger training. they are the cream of the crop. they're doing things that we do not ask other people in the military to do. you have to go specialty by specialty and define what are the standards to do the job well.
that is going to take some time. the scope of that effort will depend on how many waivers are requested. but where waivers are requested i am quite confident that kind of work will be demanded. it is being done in a haphazard way that is not necessarily rigorous and objective. i think some of this has been done internally. i do not think that will be found to be acceptable. there will be a much more impartial and objective approach that says, that is looking at this issue. if the waivers are perceived on a large scale. >> thank you. we are about to take a 10 minute rate but before we do, join me in thanking our guest. >> beautification to my mind is
far more than a matter of cosmetics. whole it describes the effort to bring the natural world and the man-made world into harmony, to bring usefulness and delight to our whole environment. and that work only begins with trees and flowers and lands gapping. >> lady bird's bill was about beautifying the nation, her signature issue as first lady. she was a successful is this woman and savvy business partner to her husband lbj. .ady bird johnson on c-span's original series "first ladies: influence and their" examining influence on the presidency from martha washington to michelle obama. on american history tv on c-span3.
>> the heritage foundation and the anglosphere society cohosted an event tuesday honoring the life and political career of former british prime minister margaret thatcher. october 13 would have been her 90th birthday. panelists discussed her reagan,ship with ronald their approach to the soviet union, and her opinions on the u.k.'s membership in the european union. this is about an hour in 10 minutes. -- this is about an hour and 10 minutes. >> good afternoon. thank you for joining us here at the heritage foundation in our douglas and sarah allison auditorium. we of course, welcome those of you who join us at our heritage
website and those who will be joining us at c-span3 questions can be sent simply by e-mailing email@example.com. we are pleased today's program is cohosted by the anglosphere society. for those unfamiliar with it, it was formed in 2012. it is an independent, nonprofit, tax-exempt organization and focuses on promoting the special relationship between the united states and the united kingdom, free market economies, and cultural events for english-speaking peoples. in pursuing its mission, the anglosphere society holds events, encourages the anglosphere alliance, access a forum to promote and publicize evidence grounded in the values of freedom and democracy, and fosters networks and personal bonds for discussions on key issues. we are pleased to welcome the founder of the anglosphere society. she previously served as the new
york director of the center of security policy for eight years, focusing there on policing terrorism and the homegrown threat posed by radical islam. this allowed her to work collaboratively with policy organizations and law enforcement on both sides of the pond. ms. bowman has over 20 years experience in corporate, philanthropic, and consumer public experience on both sides of the atlantic. she also serves as a board member on the intrepid fallen heroes fund. please join me in welcoming amanda bowman. amanda? amanda: thank you so much, john, and my deepest gratitude to the heritage organization for cohosting this event and your generosity in making it all possible. today we are celebrating the
life of margaret thatcher, who would have been 90 years old today. in april of 2013, the senate passed a resolution to recognize the life, legacy, and example of british prime minister baroness margaret thatcher, and i would like to quote from that resolution, because i think it sets the stage for this discussion tonight. resolved that the senate honors the legacy of baroness margaret thatcher for lifelong commitment to advancing freedom, liberty, and democracy throughout the world. recognizes that margaret thatcher, working with president ronald reagan, helped to bring a peaceful end to the cold war. reiterates its continued support
for the close tie and the special relationship between the united states and the united kingdom and expresses admiration for baroness margaret thatcher and her legacy as the inspirational and transformative leader in the united kingdom and the world. needless to say, i could not say it better. today we have nile gardiner moderating our conversation today, and he brings a unique perspective on the life of margaret thatcher. as you know, he is the director for the margaret thatcher center for freedom at heritage and has worked in the washington policy world over a decade and is a leading expert on the u.s.-u.k. special relationship. and u.s. policy toward europe. but before joining heritage, he
served as an aide to margaret thatcher and advised her on a number of international policy issues. working in her private office, nile assisted lady thatcher with her final book -- "statecraft: strategies for a changing world." he has a bachelors and masters degree in history from oxford university. oxford university is an important part of our conversation, because we have the principle of somerville college oxford, of which margaret thatcher is a distinguished alumni. she started her career as a museum curator and subsequently as an archivist in the public record office. she then became the director of special collections at the british library. she took up the position of university librarian at yell university and she -- at yale university and she remains there
until she was elected the somerville in 2009 and took up the position in september 2012. -- september 2010. she has expertise on the academic influences on margaret thatcher for life. we also are honored to have attorney general edwin meese, now ronald reagan's distinguished emeritus at the center for legal and judicial studies at heritage. he is a prominent elder statesman and we are delighted to have him speak to the special relationship, and particularly her special relationship with ronald reagan. and we also have with us john o'sullivan, special advisor and speechwriter to prime minister thatcher, and also -- he is an author and journalist and a senior fellow at the national review institute, and also editor at large of "the national review," where he served as
editor-in-chief for him is to decade. from the scene 97 -- from 1987 until 1988, he served as special advisor to margaret thatcher. after he left downing street, he served informally as a regular speechwriter for the prime minister. he was the principal author of the 1987 conservative election manifesto. he assisted lady thatcher in writing her two volumes of memoranda. we are fortunate to have a look at lady thatcher for life, steadily and whole, as ts eliot would say. i'm delighted to have this
opportunity. thank you. [applause] nile: thank you very much, amanda, for the very kind introduction very warm welcome to our three distinguished guests with us today and a warm welcome to everyone joining us at the heritage foundation. i would like to start off, if i may with a first question about somerville. margaret thatcher was a student there. she's started on her 18th birthday and oxford was an small -- instrumental in shaping lady thatcher pro later career. i would like to embark on an opening question with regard to
the margaret thatcher scholarship and trust. with regard to the thatcher scholarship, could you give us insight into what somerville oxford are trying to achieve with regard to these scholarships? and could you have some details about the launch of these scholarships trust and what you're trying to achieve with this tremendous project? >> thank you, nile. the idea of fundamentally is to create a permanent living legacy to margaret thatcher by creating a policy that will bring people to study at oxford from all over the world, who probably would not otherwise. we're following the narrative of margaret thatcher, a woman from very modest circumstances, but tremendous promise and great academic attainment.
who made her way to oxford, which i happen to be principle -- which is the same thing as president. somerville identified margaret thatcher as somebody that was struggling financial and would not be able to get the best of her oxford education without financial assistance. and she was rewarded with funds and also an academic scholarship. she was taught by some of the most excellent teachers in the world. we may speak more about this -- one of her main professors dorothy hodgkins was the one british woman ever to have won a nobel prize in science. they taught students at the highest possible level, and we
want to continue that tradition in the name of margaret thatcher and bring people from all over the world to honor her legacy. people who are going to succeed in life with the same sort of determination that she displayed. nile: and with regard to the thatcher scholarships, naturally they draw comparison with the roads scholarships, arguably the most famous scholarships in the world at this time, the scholarships established by the great builder, cecil rhodes. a graduate of royal college. how do you see the thatcher scholarships differing from the rhodes scholarships, or are there similarities? dr. prochaska: there are similarities and that we want to create international students. we are looking for excellence. we are looking for academic excellence. at but what the rhodes scholarship to do that our scholarships will not pay so much emphasis on is to look for well-rounded people who have excelled with athletic prowess,
and we are actually look at women with strong academic ability and we then give them the opportunity to develop the character and profile of margaret thatcher. she herself would not have been a rhodes scholar. there are differences. these scholarships are for undergraduates as well as postgraduates. people for university from parts of africa, germany, commonwealth countries.
we continue to provide scholarships for people from any part of the world, including those countries, but they may come from any part of the world. and one distinguishing characteristic which is not specified in the rhodes program is we will give particular preference to people who can demonstrate they overcame adversity. margaret thatcher overcame the adversity of coming from a very modest ground with no university tradition and her family at all. we are looking for people who can show already in their lives that they have managed to overcome. nile: excellent. it is striking that margaret thatcher had to learn lessons in the space of about five months
-- had to learn latin, i believe, in the space of about five months in order to enter into oxford university at the time, and as you mentioned, came from a very, very modest background. the daughter of a green grocer. she epitomized, i suppose, the can-do attitude of her generation. certainly a term in this example to young aspiring scholars who wish to study at oxford today. one question with regard to the scholarship -- margaret thatcher was famously denied an honorary doctorate when she was prime minister. can you explain how, in spite of that, the relationship with somerville college remained very warm for lady thatcher? and she always kept a special place for somerville and her heart, despite her somewhat shoddy treatment by the senior officials at oxford university? dr. prochaska: she was certainly shabbily treated by the university, and that was a
mistake. somerville college was where she had her roots in the university, and some of you may pick up nile's allusion to the fact that cecil rhodes came from royal college. so, oxford graduates feel a particular loyalty to their own college. she felt it was an immense privilege to be there. it was a very special place. it had very, very high traditions. at that time it was in all women's college. it gave her confidence in the support that she needed, and it was her intellectual and her emotional home. i think that was very important to her.
furthermore, somerville did not dishonor her in anyway. quite the opposite. the college made her an honorary fellow as soon it she became a cabinet minister in 1970 and retained very close ties with her. the principal of somerville, my predecessor, who was principal at the time margaret thatcher was prime minister was an extraordinary woman in her own right named stephanie park. -- daphne park. when she became the principle of somerville, she was the highest ranking woman insecurity -- although the college did not know that at the time.
she was a huge admirer of margaret thatcher. she was absolutely devastated when the university voted against giving the prime minister an honorary degree, and margaret thatcher wrote very consoling me and magnanimously to her along the lines of, don't worry, it's alright. i love somerville. it was such a privilege to be there. it will always have a place in my heart. you have leaflets distributed amongst the audience quoting from some of the letters. the college was quite different from the university, although the university really did all out a really unforgivable insult. nile: thank you very much. i would now like to bring in edwin meese iii, my colleague here at heritage, and attorney general under ronald reagan. you have the opportunity to meet with margaret thatcher on a
number of occasions and you were instrumental as well in setting up the first white house meeting between president reagan and prime minister margaret thatcher in 1981. although the first meeting between reagan and thatcher to place in england in 1975, several years before. ronald reagan had only planned a few minutes to speak with margaret thatcher, at that time the leader of the opposition, but that short discussion was expanded into a 2-hour discussion, and immediately the two figures got on incredibly well. what were the qualities that margaret thatcher possess that so attracted reagan? and why did reagan admire margaret thatcher's leadership so deeply?
mr. meese: i think it started out as a matter of philosophy. she met then governor reagan -- actually he had just left the governorship at the time. they had discussions and it views about the limitations of government were very similar. but i think it was her aggressive or fighting spirit, if you will, the fact that she was willing to stand up for her beliefs, and i think that in -- intrigued him. he had a similar position when he took over as governor for the state. also, in terms of his views for the federal government. also dealing with communism, there was a certain similarity of use there, no which were very important to him. it was the combination of the philosophy and the ideas she expressed, but also her style was one that was very attractive to him. nile: and you were, of course,
instrumental in that first white house meeting. could you talk a little bit about margaret thatcher's first meeting in 1981, how that transpired, what was the impact of that visit on the anglo-american relationship? mr. meese: the fact that she was the first head of government to visit ronald reagan in the white house was it self what impressive. the fact that they talked and shared a lot of views -- they talked, of course, in england, on a very informal basis rhythmic now, here you have the two leaders of two very important countries. and the fact that she was the very first one received of the white house, focused on the special relationship between our countries in the very warm conversations, the fact that the two leaders got along well with each other, liked each other. it was an indication, a symbol of the two countries being very
close at the time. this led to a closeness that was implemented in many ways in the falklands with their dealings with the soviet union. i think it was a symbol of friendship between the two countries, but also an indication these leaders could work together very effectively. i was there at that first meeting of the industrialized countries, what we now call the big eight or the big seven, some big something -- it was not called big at that time. it was called industrialized nations. there were seven of them. at it was ronald reagan and margaret thatcher were the only right of center government leaders there. everybody else was a socialist or a form of socialism in their countries.
it was very interesting. also, most of the time when this group met, they would talk primarily about economics, and it was both president reagan and margaret thatcher who brought up the subject, we can talk about economics, but how do we deal with the major threats to our countries, which was soviet communism? that meeting at the white house was a precursor to the very important work they started with other countries as a team, which began in june or july. nile: and that, of course, was the first of many, many meetings between the two world leaders. margaret thatcher was
instrumental in taking britain off its knees and restoring britain as a great economic and international power. what was the influence of margaret thatcher's policies on the reagan revolution? how influential were margaret thatcher's ideas in terms of shaping u.s. policies in the 1980's? mr. meese: i think they were very influential and i think it was very comforting to president reagan to see that she had been successful in england. when he took over, he faced to the same thing, the same problem in the united states. we were in deep trouble economically. it was the worst crisis since the great depression of the 1930's. we were in deep trouble as far as our military forces. they had deteriorated. we were, as many people said, we were no longer a credible deterrent to our enemies or a reliable ally to our friends. ronald reagan was determined to change all of this. he campaigned on that. but it was reassuring to him and she was doing the same things, a similar situation when she took
over, so i think her example was very helpful to ronald reagan, and also was a lesson he could point to to the people of this country, look, another leader has done it. we can do it here. nile: i would like to bring in john o'sullivan who spent many years as a senior speechwriter to margaret thatcher. i had the privilege of working with him and london. on the theme of the special relationship, what drove margaret thatcher's tremendous admiration for the united states? the relationship certainly reached its pinnacle during the reagan-thatcher era.
but what was the thinking with regard to the relationship? mr. sullivan: -- mr. o'sullivan: you must remember that margaret thatcher was a child of the war. any number of people will tell you after they heard the news of pearl harbor, oh, well, we have one. that was a huge background element in her thinking. and she had been taken to america and spent six or eight weeks here, and she went all over the united states. she was tremendously impressed by the technical efficiency of american industry and its advances in technology and by the general dynamism of american society. she felt very home in that. she wanted britain to recover that status and reputation.
and finally, as ed has already said, when she met ronald reagan, she found someone who shared all of her essential views. and if he were to become president, and he did, then she would be working with someone that, even when they disagree, they would be able to solve those disagreements fairly easily. but on most things they did not disagree. america, from the war, her experience there, and working with ronald reagan, was a place, a country and a people whom she sympathized with and who could be great allies of her own country. nile: john, as someone who knew margaret thatcher very well, how would you define thatcherism? and how this thatcherism differ
from the brand of conservatism we currently have in britain today with david cameron and the conservative party? mr. o'sullivan: well, in the first instance, there are many different definitions of thatcherism. which, the word, by the way, invented by the marxist -- well, the left in british politics. they do it, andrew campbell may have going to the phrase, a combination of a free economy and a strong state. strong meaning authority of state -- and authoritative state. not a big states. big state. that's not a bad definition. the definition i would prefer was advanced by an anglo-american scholar who described thatcherism as an encouragement of the vigorous virtues in society.
you have the virtues of enterprise, of sobriety, of self-reliance, of determination, and she felt britain had been an exemplar of these virtues and the victorian age, but they have been lost under the kind of suffocating effects of socialism, and it was her duty to revive them again. that was a friend of mrs. thatcher. i think it is the correct one. i think when you look -- you have to look at all of the policies and you can see there the application of those ideas -- the real idea is let's revive britain. nile: would you say, john, that thatcherism is still alive and well across britain? among the pretenders to the leadership in the conservative party, david cameron is expected to step down in 2019 are 2020, there are a number of thatcherite contenders to
replace mr. cameron. mr. o'sullivan: it is a complicated state, i would have to say. the conservative government has just won an election, but it was an election on a relatively small share of the vote, so it is not white is bold and confident in its approach -- it is not quite as bold and confident in its approach as it seems to be. we are living in a different world with her for problems to the one that mrs. thatcher faced in 1979. so it would be mistake to expect thatcherism to be exactly the same kind of thing. you are not dealing with over mighty unions now. you are not dealing with rapid inflation. there is no longer a soviet union. there are different problems. if you're going to have a society that works economically in which is robust internationally, you're going to have to have vigorous virtues
and i would say the resident -- the present conservative party is a little too much concerned with demonstrating that it is warmhearted and that it cares for everybody. i mean, it is desirable that these things be done. but not to the point where we forget that there is a lot wrong with britain today. it needs to be put right, and it can only be put right, and a sense, by the kind of vigorous virtues that she wanted. nile: john, you work closely with lady thatcher on some of her biggest speeches and she was one of the greatest public speakers of our time. what would you identify as her most important speech? and could you talk a little bit about how she actually prepared for her speeches, the process involved in delivering a magnificent speech? mr. o'sullivan: well, i think mrs. thatcher was a very effective public speaker in getting across her message. she was not an eloquent speaker in the 50 -- in the theatrical sense.
she was effective. that was because she thought hard and long about the message she wanted to put across and she found a clear and simple way of saying it. there are one or two phrases that are out there which people remember. i think the best one is, the problem with socialists is they always run out of other peoples money. the reason that is a great phrase is it is a great truths she is strong attention to. most people, i think, would probably say her most important speech is the famous speech at bruges when she outlined her attitude to the european union. a slightly less strong attitude than she later developed. that was a very effective speech.
it was a compromise between her instincts and the question of the foreign office. she made it plain. she had not rolled back the frontiers of socialism in britain to see it reimposed again by brussels. i think most people would say that is her best speech. that is not my view. my view is it is extremely good speech. i prefer the speech she made after she left office and she made one or two very effective speeches. she was freer. she did not have all of the ministries -- you know every , time she sent a speech up, every minister would come back saying, could you please remove this, could you please add that? she hated that, but being an effective prime minister, she had to do that kind of thing. i would say the best speech she made after she left office was one she made in the hague, where she outlines her views on the european union and the reforms that are needed with greater freedom than she had previously. and it reads well today.
nile: the 1992 speech? mr. o'sullivan: yes. nile: you referenced the light by margaret thatcher -- the lie -- the line by margaret thatcher about socialist governments running out of other people's money. that was recycled recently -- in the presidential debates. mr. o'sullivan: another one i can give you, she was trying to describe her attitude to wealth creation and distribution, and she said, the labor -- the labour party believes and turning workers against owners. we believe in turning workers into owners. which of course she did. nile: that is a tremendous line. i would like to focus on reagan and thatcher's relationship on the world stage. let's go back to mr. meese.
reagan and thatcher were known for robust international leadership. with the rising threats today from isis and islamist terrorism across the globe, how do you think that reagan and thatcher would have responded to this threat in today's environment? mr. meese: first of all, i think they probably would be united in their approach. i think they would do as they both did in dealing with the soviet communism. in many ways, there are differences, but there are similarities as well. i think they would have tried to develop a pattern of bringing other countries together, and also of determining a strategy. you mentioned margaret thatcher's most important speech. i think probably the most important speech ronald reagan gave he actually gave in england
when in june of 1982 he delivered his speech at westminster in which he laid out a blueprint of how to deal with the soviet union. and it was this blueprint that he and margaret thatcher were able to talk with other leaders about, and that became a strategic exposition and this is something that has been lacking, of course, unfortunately, in dealing with isis and problems in the middle east. i think the first thing would have been to agree on a strategic approach of how you do this. secondly it would have been to develop a true coalition of like-minded countries, and that would include a number of countries in the middle east, a number of which are looking for some sort of leadership, and third, to develop the resources to implement the strategy. i think right now one of the problems is we are suffering from a lakh of strategy, a lot
of coalition, and a lakh of having resources -- a lack of resources being readily available. because the leaders of the countries see a goal and see a strategy of achieving that goal. nile: the london speech was the first mention, i think, iv evil empire, and it was a precursor to a larger speech -- mr. meese: yes, he used the words evil empire in 1983 in this country. he made it very clear the problem in the world was the soviet union, and what he said there was the three countries would eclipse communism or eclipse the oppression of the other countries, that sort of thing, so, that was very clear. he was drawing the battle life of the good guys and the bad guys, so to speak, and that was
part of all of his speeches from that point on. it's interesting. he had this ability to be negotiating during the second half of his presidency and negotiating with gorbachev on one hand and at the same time maintaining his clear position of the wrongness of communism on the other. that in itself was something that margaret thatcher echoed. it was a common goal the two countries had. nile: another question for john o'sullivan. with regard to reagan and thatcher's determination to confront the evil empire, what lessons should be learned today by contemporary leaders -- president obama, david cameron, for example -- from the thatcher-reagan terms of standing up to the rights of vladimir putin today? i will start with you, mr. meese, and then john.
mr. meese: i think one of the things that both of these leaders never would have done is put themselves in a position that, say, obama is at the present time. and that is by being forthright in their views, of being leaders by having plans, by having strategies, and by providing leadership for the other countries, they put themselves in a position where the other leaders followed. when you have weakness -- leading from behind his never been a very good idea in my opinion, because it means in effect you are behind. so, i think it is the fact that unfortunately in this country there has been a failure of leadership, which is allowed putin to exercise his own ideas on a world stage which is dominant.
i do not think there is any time during the 1980's in which ronald reagan or margaret thatcher were not the dominant leaders. gorbachev was a leader. but there was no question as far as the free world was concerned that that world had good leaders who were self-confident without being arrogant. at the same time having a plan of where they thought the world should be going. nile: and like to ask the same question to john. mr. o'sullivan: i agree with what ed just said. if you look at mrs. thatcher coming into power, and the same is true for ronald reagan, it is
a good guidebook for what the next resident should do in this country. first task, you have to get your economy right, because if you do not have that right, you're not much of a threat to anybody else. they do not have to take you into account. secondly, you have allies. you have to work with them. you have to give them assistance where you can. a good example of this is one of the first things mrs. thatcher had to do in 79-80, 81 was to ensure the installation of u.s. missiles took place, eventually did in 84. this meant going to leaders of other countries showing signs of weakness and encouraging them to take the missiles. on one occasion, helmut schmidt, the pro-american, very strong
cold warrior came to see her and pointed out these social democrat and the party was proving resistant, did not want to take the missile. and she offered to take some of the missiles originally destined for germany. in all of these things, you have to be clear about where you are and what you are doing. from the word go, they had a formidable opponent in her. that does not mean being aggressive. it means preparing in a sensible way so that your adversary risk taking action against you. one of the things that happened is the countries agreed to raise the spending on defense to 3%. once that kind of action has taken effect, it does not have to take effect right away. you have two or three or four years while the military buildup takes place, but the soviets
knew it was they could no longer continue to make the advances they had made in the late 70's. so, in a sense, don't do anything rash. don't be unnecessarily bold, but prepare and let your enemies know they can get away with the murder they have been getting away with. mr. meese: i think one other aspect is both of these leaders, once they said they were going to do something, they went ahead and did it does write the -- despite the opposition. i think when you mention the missiles and england, there was tremendous marches there. thousands of people marching against putting in the missiles. against putting in the missiles. but mrs. thatcher's stood firm and that in itself was a possible exhibition of leadership. and as you point out, the soviet leaders realized they had formidable levers on the other side and ronald reagan was the
same way. whether it was the air traffic controllers, when they struck against the law, against a their own lives, he was firm holding the line against -- against their oaths, he was firm holding the line against that. that was the quality of leadership in terms of doing what was necessary and what the job requires. mr. o'sullivan: i think we could say these successful recovery of the falklands was a sign to the rest of the world that the british had to be taken seriously again. it is similar to reagan's deal with the air traffic controllers. mr. meese: i remember that very well. the united states had a very hands-on policy in diplomatic circles, you might say.
ronald reagan was absolutely positive we were going to support england. they were on the phone frequently. of course, we did provide some assistance. it was fairly instrumental, i think, and getting the forces down to the falkland islands in time. very instrumental actually. [laughter] nile: and john, an important issue facing the west today is the issue of the flow of refugees from syria, the middle east, north africa into western europe. i take a deep interest in this particular issue. what message and have we learned from margaret thatcher's handling of immigration matters.
mr. o'sullivan: it is an important issue in the united states as well and it's also an important issue for different reasons in australia. people dislike uncertainty. they dislike the feeling that things are out of control, that the government is not able to protect them against risks. now immigration is felt -- people feel about immigration quite differently when their government is able to control it than when it seems out of control, as it does at the moment in europe. mrs. thatcher dealt with this issue in 1978 before she even came in. she was being interviewed on television and she said -- and this time, i should tell you, people were worried about the rise of the national front. kind of a neofascist or unruly party of the right growing. i personally never took them seriously, but there was a lot of anxiety. at she went on television and she was asked a series of questions and to one of them she replied, i think people are worried about the rise and immigration. they fear being swamped. this caused an outrage among
some members of room party, but she stood by it, did not rich treat. and the support for the national front just went right down. when she got in, and at the time indeed, she was not proposing to make massive cuts in immigration or to expand it. she basically kept a moderate level of immigration throughout the period, and because everybody knew the government was in control of this, they ceased to be worried. it ceased to be a major issue. it has become a major issue for cicely because in recent weeks in europe because people feel their governments have lost control, and they seem to be to some degree right. the refugees and people who are not refugees, economic migrants, are storming through europe and moving into countries and having
to be looked after by governments which in some cases invited the men, and other cases, they are simply there. they are simply running areas the migrants are going through. i would say the key lesson this is thatcher teaches us is that governments must be able to reassure their citizens that immigration is something they can control, are controlling, and can either rise or lower depending on the economic and social needs of their society. john howard, by the way, is a good example in australia. he has presided over quite a large increase in immigration, which the us trillions want for their economy. and there has been -- which the australians want for their economy. there has been little less still it he or opposition to this because he also says we will decide here in australia under what terms. once he said that, the steam
when out of the issue has he meant it and the voters knew it. nile: we have the privilege of hosting john howard here a few years ago for the margaret thatcher freedom message. he delivered a very good message. also, john, another question to you. with regard to the future of europe, and issue that was very close to lady thatcher's hard for many, many years. could you talk about the evolution of margaret thatcher's views on europe? and also, address the -- i would say rather mischievous suggestions by those who support britain staying inside the european union that margaret thatcher would have campaign to have stayed inside the eu? that is not the impression i gain from my own conversations with lady thatcher over her final years. could you address this and to what extent britain is holding a
referendum by the end of 2017 on its membership in the european union? this issue is likely to dominate british politics for the next year. to do talk about margaret thatcher's views on europe and set the issue on the brexit issue and lady thatcher? mr. o'sullivan: excuse me. in suffering slightly from jet lag and a cold. when we're talking about how someone who is no longer around would react to a question, we are doing something questionable. we do not know with certainty. we have to acknowledge that. different people who were close to lady thatcher would give different answers to the question you asked me. i suspect -- i have not discussed it with her, -- with him, so i don't know -- charles power will give a slightly different answer to this then i
will. my view is -- let me say one definite thing and one uncertain one. there is no doubt mrs. thatcher became increasingly skeptical about europe the longer she stayed in office, and then after she left office. in 1975, when she became the leader of the conservative party, she was not particularly well-informed on foreign policy. she set out to change that. and she accepted the orthodoxy of the tory party of the time, which was strong support to europe. when she was in office, she found europe a constant problem for her. partly in financial terms, partly in wider political ones,
and she was increasingly annoyed with it. it was an issue. it was her obvious resistance to further integration in europe that was one of the factors in her losing office. that resistance was not shared their by as many people in the conservative party as it was later and today perhaps. what would she do today? we can be absolutely certain of course. i would say the evidence is she moves further and further -- my conversations with her suggest
that. you mentioned the book "statecraft," with which you worked with her, there she comes right up to brexit, looks over the abyss, and instant conversation. >> i would know like to ring the doctor back into the discussion regarding her time at oxford. question, ask you the how important do you think the years were into shaping her and why is in life
it that they have been so oxford that there have been 26 prime minister's, i far more impressive record than cambridge. her oxford about one of the truly great leaders of our time? >> one thing that i would say to supplement what i just said is that the quality of margaret leadership was although, we do know from her biographers, including the splendid biography from
charles moore, that she did change your mind frequently and she thought very carefully and could change her position according to the evidence. but she never made that clear and public. with absolutecame clarity. that was a personality trait of margaret thatcher and i think it would be wrong to claim that her oxford education was totally responsible for it but it is interesting to say she was trained in chemistry. the tutorial system gives you very close and sustained because to a dialogue
you're one of only two people talking to that person. hodgkin was investigating the structure of penicillin, the structure of insulin, and coming that wasne answer going to be the provably right answer. margaret, i think thatcher must've taken that there would be one right answer. asked why so many political leaders in britain come from oxford. of course, we go back a long those who are younger
could not have gone there, it was not available to them. but oxford as a university has always taken a very close interest in government. and the economics has been , the primething minister read ppp at oxford, for mentioned, as i just it is the exposure to the tutorial system and you and i both know that it can be pretty terrifying and if you come to the other end, you have been to the fiery furnace of being challenged and after explaining why you have arrived at the conclusions you arrived at, you and one other student in the
room for the whole half-hour being critiqued for what you have done the past week on a particular subject and in the end i think that produces the capacity to stand up for yourself and assert confidence, which is very different from arrogance. it is a terribly important quality in politics, as in so many other qualities of life and the nature of it whether it is in history or philosophy or chemistry, it gives you that edge. but there is tradition and there is a network. all of these things work as well. >> thank you for that tremendous insight. guests to our three give some concluding remarks, i
would like to invite just a couple of questions from the audience. and if you can identify yourselves as well. the question here from this .entleman >> i have seen some writings that indicate as well as reagan and thatcher, the pope and the polish industrial were this quadratic group who ended the cold war. could you comment? that.n is the expert on on reagan,ite a book thatcher and the pope. when you combine them they were not as influential. the moment that the pope was pole had been a
selected as pope, the alarm bells went off in russian headquarters. his visit to poland in 1979, around when ms. thatcher was elected, was an enormous event. it is estimated roughly one third of the polish people attended his masses and anybody who went new right away they were marking themselves as a dissident. theyey turned to the right saw a person joining them simply by being there. huge emotional surge in support exposed the communist party to really be a facade and it did not represent these people and everybody knew it and that was transmitted throughout the whole of the communist world
by newspapers and radio free europe and deutsche liberty and so on. , i did a lot of talking about that book when it invariably, i was asked the same question at the end of the talk. should be aeally quartet. itpoland, everybody nubbin -- nominated the one that you said. and more than any other of the popular leaders had a really significant impact on events. everywhere else, people said gorbachev. the answer to that question which i always gave which i believe today is that which have certainly deserves credit for
helping to wind up the end of the soviet union peacefully. thate must accept gorbachev is more effect than cause. if the soviet union was not in , he wouldn'trisis have had to. he made the right choice but there were painful prices there was no good future in keeping system going. margaret thatcher was one of the first to realize the role she could play and after the utilization of missiles, they worked together to bring about a peaceful end. and everyone deserves credit here at the credit goes principally to the two heroes heroine.ero and one >> both margaret thatcher and
ronald reagan realized this was not just a diplomatic issue, they felt there was a moral dimension to the whole thing. and the morality of freedom versus communism. so i think that his pursuit that -- participation was important. >> [inaudible] john knows his speeches and his comments, but it was proper from the position that he held -- in other words, he wasn't doing anything to be a secular leader if you will, but he properly represented the theological view of things in the moral view of things that were very important but it the same time proper. that he handled it
extremely well, he understood psychology very well. so i think he was a very important part of the whole he did it in a very careful way. i was told that after the first meeting, the pope came out of the meeting and said that andan is a man of peace that judgment founded -- made it to issue a whole range of policies. when he was in poland he gave in anous sermons, but officially atheist society, a religious sermon had political applications which everyone
could see and recognize. >> i will take one more question. >> i work on capitol hill. the discussion of the oxford tutorial system reminded me of the way that margaret thatcher ran her cabinet meetings. i wonder if there were parallels where she was the tutor and expected them to come prepared and if they weren't, they would be called to task, do you think there is a connection there? >> you may be right about that. she had a very difficult by the endvery often of her prime minister ship it comes through very clearly.
what in your view were the key leadership qualities that made margaret thatcher such a great and effective leader or prime minister? john. start with you, >> i think she was grave. knew her own mind and she prepared. it was one of the occasional difficulties between her and ronald reagan. he probably thought that he could wing it in a way that she couldn't. thoseheless when you add things together, courage, clarity, preparation, you have a recipe for strong leadership and she is limited. >> i think all of those things are correct. , ronald reagan did
prepare carefully, but he never let on that he had. it looked like he was winging it but he was amazing in the amount of time he put into things. of margaret thatcher, i think she had all of those qualities and the principal quality that i would add to that was her steadfastness. that was something that ronald reagan really prized. in thatre a partner it could be disastrous of her steadfastness and her other qualities made her the great leader that she was >> i would like to highlight one episode in her career when she was prime minister when the ira